Members of nine Ngati Kahungunu hapu in Wairarapa and southern Hawke's Bay have given formal approval to their Treaty of Waitangi claims. The claims have taken 16 years to prepare.
A trust formed to represent the hapu in negotiations has just completed a series of hui for members from Christchurch to Auckland, to seek support for 27 claims. The last was held on 11 March.
Project manager Robin Paratene says the hui were well supported, with about 100 people attending one held in Dannevirke.
He says many good points were raised at each hui, and all concerns will be addressed by the Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tamaki Nui a Rua Trust.
Mr Paratene says the trust hopes to begin formal negotiations with the Crown in June but it could be five years before a final deed of settlement is signed.